Monday, April 26, 2010

News media is addiction

MUMBAI, INDIA - JANUARY 19:   Lalit Modi (C), ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Mr. Lalit modi does a simple looking tweet in less than 140 characters and whole bunch of characters fall out of closet.

Mr. Shashi Tharoor uses the tweets to garner public sympathy. He has to go away because the so called sensible opposition party BJP of India demands his resignation based on a tweet of an individual.

A lady comes into the scenario and complicates the matter for her knight and the knight has to go back to his masses and addresses them in the quiet of his state.

The government is forced to order IT Raids because the news media is harping and creating a molehill out of a simple tweet.

The final of the IPL match is done. Mr. Modi is standing on the prize distribution dais quoting Bhagavata Geeta and preaching fearlessness.

Media breaks news that BCCI has sacked him and given a 22 point chargesheet against him. The poor guy was claiming to head the BCCI governing council meeting and his head rolled.

I was worried in morning as what would happen to Mr.Modi now. BCCI was going ahead with their governing council meet show while Mr. Modi was serving the showcause notice.

How silly the reactions and timing of countries opposition party, BCCI and me?

Why should I care about Mr. Modi? Why did I get attached to his story? What was it that makes me sympathetic towards him? Did I get bitten by the great Indian news media? Did the tantalizer start taking effect?

Why do we get attached to underdogs in society when we know that their are super-dogs who will simply split them apart?
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dedicated positive news media

Original title: Smile! You Are On! Original de...Image via Wikipedia
We choose our leaders through election process. We blame ourselves for bad governance because we did not go out in the heat or cold and cast our vote.

We choose the TV channels based on our choice. There are whole host of choice out there. There are skimpy channels, sad/ugly/crying channels, godly channels, children focused, local content focused, movies, news.

What we miss in the news channel is a breath of positive energy?
In spirituality we are taught to focus on the world within.If we can steady ourselves then the world around us will be anchored.

How can we influence the TV anchors and management to move towards positive content? By reducing their TRP's? By street protest? By human chain? By online poll? By email chain?

We can choose what we see. We can ignore sensation, tantalisation by news media. There are enough channels to choose from. We can come back to current news channel for weather report only, its the only time they are not pounding their hands on table.

Wrong people do not make the society. Its a wrong message that we are giving in the prime time. They do not deserve ticker segments. But if you insist you can put them on ticker. We need to be aware if you will.

The common man deserves a lot more attention. We do not have to wait for one off movie to highlight his despair or accomplishment. He needs to meet us everyday just like the RK Laxman's common man, the cartoon strip series.

Will you watch the sensation and let it destroy the beautiful thread that integrates and makes us proud of our society?
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Never knew life would be so much stress

Who is responsible for your misery?
Who is to blame for your pain?
How has been your journey of life?
Are you holding on to something you know for sure will leave you? It was never yours to begin with.
Do you have the knowledge that the things you hold tight is in reality loose sand?
If you knew there was so much pain would you have liked to be a bird instead.
Fly and be free.
A whale. Swim and simply drift.
As humans why do we get attached to something superior or inferior to us. Ego is always higher and lower than you really are. It is never in your line of sight.

What is your identity?
Your name. Your parents have given to you. A acquired assets.
Your married status. Your spouse.
Your degree. Your school/college.
Your designation. Your profession.
Your neighbors. Your society.

What will you do to clean this mess people call stress? Is it something that can be easily swept away? Is it something acquired? Is it something that belongs to you? Is it a foreign object that gets stuck to wind pipe and you have to get rid , no matter what.

What is your worry? Something will happen to your property, your car, your family, your profession.

In fear we create shortcuts and forget about the balancesheet that is getting prepared inside.
We cherish the profits outside because its physical and visible and tactile.
We ignore trust, honesty, love and peace because they are inside. We ignore the greatest law of karma. Your thoughts drive your destiney.
You cannot complain that auto driver has cheated you on money. You would have cheated somebody with your wrongdoing in your profession. If you are clean than no one can cheat you.
The society will clean by itself.
The system will mend by itself.
The stress will lose its meaning.

Courtesy: As always a talk by Shivani on Aastha channel during theie regular Awakening with Brahmankumaries series.

Indian News media is tantalizer

An example of a breaking news intro graphicImage via Wikipedia
They love to tickle. They love to drive people mad by highlighting petty issues. They love to miss facts. They love their "sources". They are only acting as conduit for their "sources".

If you are following the latest breaking news and coverage by the TV news media in India then you would have noticed that every channel is getting sensational. I don't know if they feel the sensation but they surely are transmitting.

Even the business channels have caught on the bug and are having political spokesman on their prime time. Hello, aren't you suppose to focus on business and quarterly results.

Outlook magazine publishes a report based on its sources and the channels pick up the allegations and start to beat them to death.

They are seen to be inserting the micro phone in mouth of people who are creating controversies, just to get the sound bit. Suddenly that sound bite becomes the news. The person is branded as "confident" or "nervous".

I think there is need to shift focus from sensation to grassroots works.

How many people know about the "Bharat Swabhimaan andolan"? A spiritual channel is espousing the news that has impact on society from all angels including social, legal, political.

I think we need a channel that focuses on the common man, the farmer, the average Indian. Their struggles and accomplishment. We don't have to wait for realism on silver screen. We need it in our home and in front of us in our living room.

My "sources" say that time has come to bring the real hero within us , in front of us. What say?
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why do I need to be creative?

Rendering of human brain.Image via Wikipedia
 Why should you have stunning performers as coterie?

Why should you respect mediocrity but cannot endure them as colleague? You should respect individuals for their existence but not someone to share your workspace with?
You could be mediocre too but you will not grow in company of mediocrity? 

The reason large organization are difficult  is because they become precise with mediocrity and cannot live nor sustain the chaos required for creativity. This could frustrate you after a while. 
Process is good for efficient systems, mostly found in manufacturing or in safety critical systems found in healthcare and space missions

But in software you need to allow your self to get creative. Produce products that you love to create and that folks around love to use. 
Excellence and chaos go hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder. Do not be angry when you fail miserably as chaos can cause confusion and defeat. 
You like it when you grow. You like it when you are able to solve everyday problems in simple ways. In ways people would have thought impossible. 

You can do it only when you get a rush of blood, the same when you are charging in full steam, total focus on the game, the ball has to get into opponents net, with or without you. You do it with a team. 
Alone, you get crushed. Lost in wilderness.
You decide to walk alone though. The decision point is in your head though. But the velocity gains momentum only with team. A team where others are better then you, always.
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Business in times of Ash

The mountain Herðubreið, interior of Iceland, ...Image via Wikipedia

In India the mention of Ash so far reminded you of spouse of Mr. Abhishek Bachan, otherwise known as Aishwarya Rai.

The volcanic eruption in Iceland has changed that point of view now. Now ash belongs to the sky where she belongs. 

This presents several business opportunities for entrepreneurs and I would list a few of them.

I think the government of respective countries should come forward and find reasons to blow some taxpayers money.

  1. A filter in front of aircraft engine to suck ash and feed engine with pure air. The product could have specifications as to what percentage of ingredients will be let through and what would be trapped and released in mid air.
  2. A cross Atlantic train service connecting Europe to Americas. Please ensure tracks do not touch ocean floors. Product specs/differentiation could be tsunami resistant, quake resistant, whale repellent.
  3. Acid free roof tops. Construction materials that prevent entry of acid  from ash clouds coming from top/windows/doors which might be mixed with the H2O rains that we used to have some years back.
  4. Security services that specialize in volcano safety. This event could encourage terror outfits to enlist more volcanoes in their fight to liberate the earth from clean living and climate.
Also I believe that global warming might be a little too much for these volcanoes from Iceland and other places of earth. They have already started puffing and coughing unable to bear the heat.

What is your take on the Icelandic cloud release?
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Pay Online Property Tax Bangalore BBMP

Once again the time comes to pay tax to government. I called Mr. Shivappa who offers his services after office hours to residents of Brigade Gardenia. He asked me to come to the newly constructed BBMP help center in RBI layout, behind Capital School on 2nd Main.

I could not locate it the first time and the good old postman on the Luna asked me to sit behind him and turned back from his onward journey of dropping letters to show me the place. To our dismay the help center was right in front of us after 2 sec ride.

Mr. Shivappa who had explained me the address of the place and also asked me to come there with previous two years receipt, khata and blank cheque. I requested him to disclose the amount so that I can pay it online. He did not. He asked my the flat area and then ignored my bodily existence.
When I was in front of him requesting the same information he suddenly stopped understanding my Hindi and English. A good samaritan who was standing nearby explained to him that I was not interested in manual payment and needed to know the tax for my property so that I can pay online. Still he persisted that I take the form and fill them and said he would be in complex in evening at about 7:30 PM. He was chatting with somebody else and I stood there with my blank face.
He must have got pity on because before he drove away he uttered the words I was thirsty after, Rs 3292.
I went in to check the form and they costed Rs.5. The person there spoke spotless English and said the amount would be same as last year.

My confidence in the online site was pretty high from last years experience.
Three times I entered the credit card information. Nothing happened. I only obtained transaction failed at different times of the day. I had IE8 and Acrobat 9. The error glared IE 7.

Finally I uninstalled IE8, restarted machines few times and installed IE7 after downloding the 15 Mb.
Still the same error.

I gave up and took a printout of the form. Another nice option they give beside the button that allows you to pay online. I guess they realized that persited soul like me would get ultimately be frustrated and fallback to manual option.

I took printout on three blank papers and walked to the BBMP help center at RBI layout again. The person was efficient as there was no crowd and he explained to me that if BBMP recieved the credit card payments multiple times then they would refund it.

I forget to mention, I kept calling the BSNL numbers at different times of day and it was always busy. That is the reason this time around I am not putting the numbers here.
How was your property experience this year?
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Friday, April 16, 2010

Aatika Tahir - A salute to human spirit

She could not hear when she was young. Her doctors warned that she would grow but will not have mental growth.
She was born in Delhi and her parents realized that she could not hear when she was almost three months old. Then began their journey to hospitals, sometimes in bus and sometimes on foot.

Her parents accepted her as gift from GOD and decided to give to the best of their abilities.

She did not like the hearing aid when she was few months old. She would just throw the foreign object away. She would get very irritated when her parents could not understand what she was trying to convey.

But they persisted and she would have absorbed their fighting spirit, she has now blossomed into her youth, a beautiful and energetic basketball player who is making her parents proud with her medals and achievements.
She has even been to special Olympics to represent India in basketball.

She found the spirit to live and she is living handsomely. Truely an insiparation for one and all. This post is a special tribute to her and the folks who make होंशाला series on DD LOKSABAHA TV.
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Do not withdraw from paypal or moneybookers

If you are a freelancer and obtaing your payments through online inward remittances to India then you will run into either Paypal/MoneyBookers or one your Bank with their wire transfers services.

The charges levied by both paypal and  moneybookers are of similar nature and you end up paying around 5% of your forex amount for inward remittances to India.

This is especially true after incidents of past few days in which paypal had to respond to and function within the purview of Indian tax law.

It is better to sign with a bank that gives cost effective wire transfer charges. Let me know if you know of any. SBI works through Standard chartered and they charge about $20 for intermediary services. This adds on to the $30 that your client or online marketplaces like odesk adds to your online services fee. Thus its always $50 no matter what amount you recieve. So they become effective means if you have amount crossing over $1000 per transaction and that does not happen often.

Wondering what would be the most cost effective ways of saving transactions cost while your funds are in transit while you are an independent entity.
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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Manas ganga

गंगा नदी स्वर्ग से आई ओर हरिद्वार , प्रयाग,  से होती हुई गंगा सागर मैं विलीन हो जाती है.
राम चरित मानस की गंगा शिव जी के मुख से निकलती है, हरी कृपा के हरिद्वार से होते हुए, संतों के संग प्रयाग से गुजरती हुई, परम विश्राम पाती हैं गंगा सागर मैं.
वह भागीरथी के तप से प्रकट हुई.
यह माँ भवानी पारवती के अनुग्रह से.
उसमें शिव ने अपनी जटाओं मैं उसे समाया ओर फिर एक लत खोलकर उसे पृथ्वी लोक को पवित्र करने के लिए छोड़ दिया.
इसे शिव ने अपने मुख से सरे ब्रह्माण्ड को पवित्र करने के लिए मुक्त कर दिया.
हरी कृपा पाने के लिए तीन टिकेट चईये. मन, कर्म, ओर वचन बिना चतुराई के. सिर्फ समझदारी से. आजकल बचोँ को हम चतुराई सिखतें हैं, समझदारी नहीं. छल जाने मैं गर्व हो छलने मैं गर्व न हो. बिना कपट के जब हुम हरि से कुछ मांगें तो सिर्क इतना की किसी संत का संग मिले, जिससे वह भी उतना प्रेम करतें हैं जितना तुम हरि से करना चाहते हो. बाकि तो उसने जितना दिया है वह उसकी असीम कृपा है.

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